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10 Used Cars to Check Out Before Buying New

2. Honda CR-V
Trim: LX sport utility
Original MSRP: $19,640
KBB private party value: $6,660
Retained value: 33.9%
How popular is this mini SUV? Have you been outside a school at pickup time lately?

The SUV in this truncated mold has become the weapon of choice for the modern parent who still doesn't like the idea of cramming the family into a sedan but doesn't miss the low mileage and high gas bills of the old, giant Suburban Assault Vehicle. The 2002 was the start of the CR-V's second generation and just got an upgrade to a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine with 160-horsepower that made its late '90s incarnation look like a riding lawnmower.

That's secondary only to the CR-V's most essential feature: room, and lots of it. There's lots of headroom, lots of legroom, 33.5 cubic feet of cargo space with all the seats in place and 74 cubic feet when they're down. Tucked into all that space is air conditioning, power windows and locks, a one-touch up-and-down driver window, a CD player, rear-seat heater ducts and two 12-volt accessory outlets to keep everybody's gadgets going.

As with several of the small SUVs made in 2002, there's a four-wheel-drive version that's worth hunting around for. Even without it, this would likely be the most sought-after vehicle of this vintage if not for one consistent little competitor ...

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